tv CNN Newsroom CNN November 20, 2009 3:00pm-4:00pm EST
anything but a stupid white, uneducated walmart employee. >> today heather ellis takes the stand. attack in a newsroom. a political group lashes out at journalists. and it's all caught on camera. they are teed off about their hikies in tuition. how high is the price of higher education these days? you know we're not going to start walking on air, but we'll have something for you. >> oprah winfrey sets her farewell dated but is it really farewell? and who will fill the top vacuum on afternoon television? your national conversation for november 20, 2009, starts right now. and hello, again, everybody from new york, i'm rick sanchez,
with the next generation of news. this is a conversation, this is not a speech and it is your turn to get involved. let me show you a shot of the u.s. capitol building, after all these months the senate health care bill is about to -- if the democratic majority harry reid can round p votes to get it going. this is seen as a huge vote, it's set for tomorrow night. the story in many ways. but let's be clear on what these guys are voting on. they're voting to start a debate. that's how it works in the senate. you can't hold a debate without first having a vote to hold a debate. are you with me? we'll start this debate, the democratic majority leader harry reid will need 60, not 50 votes, not a simple majority, needs 60 votes, that's important. you won't get many if any at all from the senate's 40 republicans. republican leader mitch mcconnell just a couple of hours ago said this. >> order of a trillion dollars
in medicare cuts. between four and $500 billion in new taxes and higher insurance premiums for 85% of the american people who already have health insurance. what you heard right there, that will be the very essence of the republican push to kill this bill on health care reform. one, some medicare, two, they don't like tax increases, three, higher premiums for those who have insurance. all right, that's the argument as we go into the weekend as it's set from both sides. senator john barrasso is a republican senator from wyoming, he's also a doctor we should mention and he's been a frequent guest on our show and we're happy to have him back and talk about this. there is a cut than that republicans may actually make democrats read the entire bill. is that really necessary? are you for that?
>> well, i think everybody that votes on the bill ought to read the bill. i think the american people ought to read the bill. but i don't see that -- >> i'm sorry, i mean read it out loud. >> i don't think that's going to happen, but i these everyone wants to know what's in the bill, but when you're looking at a 2,000 page bill which is fundamentally going to affect everyone in this -- it is going to cut medicare and it is going to raise taxes and it is going to raise premiums for people who already have insurance. it's a good idea for people to know what's in there before we vote on it. >> too many times in the past bills have gone by without people reading them because too often the guy who is do what you do, not in your case of course, but the guy who is do what you do are often out doing other things like trying to see if they can get campaign money for example. both parties, by the way. but hooert here's what dick
derbin says about the suggestion that somebody should stand up on the floor and read the entire bill. >> the republicans have come to the floor for weeks now decrying the fact that the bill that we're presenting is long. too many pages, they say, too much for them to absorb. well, i will tell you that the bill is long. because we're tackling 1/6 of the american economy. we're preparing a bill which will be challenged by the health insurance companies who hate this as one old senator used to say like the devil hates holy water. >> let's move into another area, i just heard you mention medicare a moment ago, and i heard senator mitch mcconnell tell me the same thing. let me just ask you a real frank question which you and i do this all the time. your part, the republican party, has opposed medicare every step of the way, including back when
it was created. now you're arguing for it. at what precise point did the republican party become the defenders of medicare? >> well, you know, i practiced medicine for the last 25 years in wyoming, taking care of wyoming seniors who are on medicare and i know what it's like to fight with the federal government for medicare reimbursements, medicare is the number one denier of care, they do a terrible job in terms of coordinating care, in dperms of working with preventative care, but when you're talking about cutting 5$500 billion from our seniors. i don't think it's the way to solve this is to cut $500 billion from our seniors because we know that program is going broke, we know it's going to be broke by the year 2017. if you're going to do these types of things, you should do it so save medicare, not to start a whole new government program, rick. >> it just seems curious because
i have heard medicare referred to by many republicans as the first step in socialized medicine and now republicans i see are embracing medicare like they need to protect it. let's move on to something else. we hear senator mcconnell talking about several other things. for example, he suggested that this is going to be a tax increase, which i think even obama admits it probably will be. but a tax increase for who? >> there's going to be tax increases across the board when they raise taxes on companies that make the implants, the artificial hips that i should b put in and medications and other things, that stuff's all going to get passed on for people who are paying their own health care and that's when they say premiums are going to go up. the other is at least in the senate bill, there's an excise tax on these cadillac health pl plans, with inflation, and we know that this bill is going to make the costs go up, a lot of these what are now chevy plans
are going to become cadillac plans in just a couple of years, so what you and i might think are just standard insurance plans, they're going to be paying a 45% excise tax. >> i think what the plan calls for is your taxes will go up for health care reform, if you're an individual that makes over $200,000 a year or if you're a couple that makes over $250,000 a year. so it's not like it's affecting the average american. not that anybody's saying it's good to have -- >> those are two separate things. what you just talked about is a conditional tax. it's why the unions are opposed to this excite tax, because we're talking about union workers who have very good health insurance programs, expensive plans, but they're not making over 250,000 a year, but they have excellent health insurance coverage, and they're the ones that are going to get
hit with this excise tax. >> another quick, tough question, because we know we always like to do this when you and i talk. and i respect you as much as i respect anybody up there. you're for health care reform, right. >> there are a number of things we can do today. >> not this plan. >> yes, i am. >> here's the question, republicans have had the power to enact health care reform going back to the age during the republican presidency under reagan, under george bush 2, you had the house, you had the presidency and at no time was there a measure to do this and now you're allowing the democrats to have their version, but you're criticizing it. is there something a little disingenuous? at what point do you say to yourself why didn't we do this rather than just criticize it now. >> i have only been here two years, as you know, rick, from
the day i got who are. as a practicing physician, running the wyoming health fairs to keep down the cost of their care, i have been talking about these sorts of things from day one, let people buy insurance across state lines, let the people take tax breaks from big companies when they buy their own insurance. we know that half of the health care is spent on 5 percent of the people who eat too much and smoke. those are the things that move the system in the right direction. i don't think we need a 2,000-page bill. what we need is step by step in the right direction. >> now you sound like my doctor, thanks amount. like i needed that from you. john barrasso, you know what? always a pleasure talk to you. >> thanks for having me.
journalists are attacked in their newsroom and it's all caught on camera. you're going to be surprised to hear what started this thing. also caught on camera, what really happened at walmart in a check outline when heather ellis cut in front of others? is she truly a victim in this case? we have new information as she takes the stand, we are all over the story and we will go live when the verdict comes in potential during this hour. also don't forget the other way to participate in our national conversation, call us anywhere in the united states, the number is 877-742-5751. hey rick, rita from washington.
welcome back, i'm rick sanchez in new york, political parties don't always like what journalists have to say, boy, do i know that. you should see all the stuff that's written about me from the left and from the right and from anybody who doesn't report on anything -- the fact that people are engaged enough to write means they're engaged. period. they're thinking.
farn farn [ speaking in native language ] that is cnn's sister network in mumbai, india. the network's offices were stormed by a political party made up of hindus. they are so conservative they believe that the -- they got pretty fired up because the famous indian cricket players belongs to india, not to hindus. wasn't even excluding other hindus.
get mad, if you need to, but there's absolutely no execution for physically attacking somebody for their ideas, right? tell me, what do you say? as i was watching, i was thinking, how are we going to top that opening? >> oprah winfrey is saying goodbye after a quarter century of talking. what will she do next? also protesting the high cost of going to college, these students are angry, should they be? are they really paying more than most? is their protest correct? i'm going to be looking at their numbers for you and breaking them down, something you probably did not know. (announcer) we understand. you want time to enjoy the holidays.
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your twitter board. have you heard what happened to those students in california? california's got some really big budget problems, can't pay its bills, so yesterday it told nearly a quarter of million students to dig deep in their pockets and find $2,500 a year extra. this is how they reacted. >> studentsdo s united we'll ne be divided. >> several hundred students took
part in this thing. it was outside the building where the regents signed off on the new tuition. what is the cost of tuition going to be next year? a little more than $10,000. that's one-third higher than what students were paying right now. again, $10,000, is that high? is that low? let me shoot you a couple of numbers on the nationwide cost of college education. the college board recently came out with an annual survey. here's what americans pay on average. each year of four-year schools of higher learning. public schools, $7,020 that's up 6.5% from 2008. so the national average is $3,000 less give or take a few dollars than what they'll pay in california next fall. interestingly enough, for those of you who thought $10,000 wasn't that much, it certainly is, comparatively speaking, unless you're comparing to it a private school. average yearly tuition at a
private school, wow, $26,273. that's a lot of money. universities say tuition is up because administration costs are going up, student support costs are going up, even campus security is going up. revenues meanwhile from the state and from the feds down. now you know the full story, both sides of this argument. students in colombia or protesting the u.s. government. how is that possible? what does the u.s. government have to do with students protesting in colombia? i'm going to tell you what's got them so riled up. that's coming up in just a little bit. also surveillance video at a controversial walmart arrest plus the accused testifies. does she help or does she hurt her case? we may know soon. we're monitoring this for you, stay right there.
bill allen is calling the shots on this farm. a long way from the basketball courts where he made his name years ago. allen is the founder of growing power, a nonprofit organization that turns run down city land into vibrant vegetable garden. he planted the seeds to the project 16 years ago. allen now has 14 gardens in inner city milwaukee alone. his goal is to teach inner city
kids how to grow their own food, especially in food desserts. >> a food dessert is a place where you have to travel two or three miles to the nearest grocery store and there is no access to fresh food. >> allen is now sharing his gardens in cities across the country. >> this is something that is real, urban agriculture is a good vehicle to have a good, healthy community, good food and good jobs. >> obviously i'm not going to be here on this earth forever. so it's my responsibility to come up with a succession plan to pass on what i have learned to others. >> and allen's drive is winning him some new fans. first lady michelle obama invited allen to visit the white house garden. garry tuchman, cnn. by the way many of you are commenting on the story we did
just a little while ago, let's go to the twitter board. having to do with schools in california. i was in school in california when we were hit with a big fee increase midterm in 1990. i had to quit for a while. i'm with the students. the next one says the price of education should not be unaffordable for our young folks. how did we fall behind on a world scale let me guess? i wish we woui would have prote the fee hikes. hey rick, this is ann from memphis. you know, i'm sorry about racism in this country, it does exist. however, i don't feel this woman's case is about that. it's simply about a woman who behaved badly in public and was disrespectful to police. last thanksgiving, about 2 million people tried...
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and awelcome you back. heather ellis took the stand today in her own defense. that's her face right there. her her name doesn't ring a bell, well let me refresh your memory. you can't tell it, at least not when you look at this, but that's her in the middle of that blob of people right there. that's her being handcuffed as well. and thrown into a squad car outside a walmart in missouri. that's three years ago, by the way. police say she hit two officers and that's why she's on trial today for assault. more store security. this is when heather ellis supposedly busted the line at walmart. a friend of hers was holding the line for her and she decided to skip from one line to the other line. and the cashier called 911. why has this story all of a sudden gotten a national following. not because of what's been going on inside the courtroom, but
what has been going on in the streets. the naacp and counter groups with rebel flags and counter groups, heather ellis says police called her racial slurs, witnesses say she did the same to a manager at walmart. that's heather ellis by the way walking into the courtroom. we had cnners inside this courtroom as well. >> reporter: watch this surveillance video outside a walmart store in kennet, missouri. the person highlighted is a 24-year-old woman. and prosecutors say she is kicking a police officer. one of two cops they say she assaulted. this is the same woman today three years later. heather ellis, an african-american. the cops she is accused of kicking and hitting are white. if that happened is not seen on the video supplied by walmart.
her arrest has stirred up a racial hornet's nest inside this tiny town. the video shows heather ellis's hand moving another customer's items back on the conveyor belt four times. ellis wanted to check her items out and the woman behind her was taking her spot. kay mcdaniel was running the store that night. >> i treated her just like i would treat you or anybody else. >> the walmart manager testified she told ellis to stop saying the f-word and to stop yelling and disturbing the customers and then she told the jury this. >> she just looked at me and she told me i wasn't anything but a stupid white, uneducated white employee and she called betsy an old gray headed lady, the cashier, and i said just a minute, i said you don't know and i don't know you. >> reporter: five police
officers were involved in the arrest. one of them was albert fisher. she told mem i was a stupid mother blanker. she said she didn't know show he was blanking with. shen she asked my name she said any name is donald blanking duck. he testified the fight was on. he claims he was kicked many times as they brought her to the squad car, even before this point in the video. a second cop testified and said she hit him in the mouth. but ellis's defense attorney is fighting back ferociously. ellis's defense attorney hinted they could have conveniently matched their stories because they were together during those meetings and he wondered why the police did not independently -- key moments of the encounter. what's notable about this trial so far is there has been no mention of racism by either side inside the courtroom. >> but plenty of mentions of it outside the courtroom.
look at these pictures, heather ellis, that's her arriving at the courthouse today. she did take the stand today in her own defense. they're on a lunch break right now. here's what our observers say happened today. ellis testified that none of those accounts of her swearing and acting upset are true. after their break, we're told both the defense and the prosecution will rest and then they'll hear closing arguments and then of course it goes to the jury, maybe a verdict, maybe a sentence, we don't know, we're following it and as everything comes in, we'll share it with you. >> late to the airport, late to work, they say they have a minimum. >> a woman is caught on camera allegedly offering sex to an officer to try and beat a ticket. you got to hear this one for yourself, in fact you will. also there's new insight into executives who were paid
to you and me. here's the deal. a congressional investigation looked at some of the biggest companies that turned their pension plans over to the government because they were losing money or going bankrupt. we're washing our hands of what we saw you. okay, i get it, you probably get it as well. they're out of money. i get it. if they're out of money for workers, why aren't they out of money for themselves? buy aren't they slashing their own salaries and their own pensions and their own compensation packages? is that a fair question or am i out of lip here? this report found that the top executives of the four huge corporations gave themselves almost $50 million in retirement and other benefits while they were slashing their employees' pension plans. look at this. let's put up these side panels, do you see them right there?
polaroid, united airlines, they told the government that they couldn't afford to pay their employees pensions, but their executives gave themselves millions in pay and in perks. that they could afford? two others, u.s. awares, reliance insurance, executives at those four companies took aa -- it's in the gao report that was released a couple of days ago that caught my attention. i want to make sure as americans that we know this information so i'm putting it on my blog so you can see it for yourself. it's at cnn.com/rick sanchez, something to think about. as i was watching, i was thinking how are we going to top that opening? >> she's arguably one of the most popular women in the world,
one of the richest to boot, by the way. her show is an institution. buy oprah winfrey is calling it quits. we're going to look at how she's influenced our country so far, but what's next? stay with us, we'll be right back. d high cholesterol. that really hit me, and got me thinking about my health. i knew i had to get my cholesterol under control. but exercise and eating healthy weren't enough for me. now i @%ust my heart to lipitor. (announcer) when diet and exercise are not enough, adding lipitor has been shown to lower bad cholesterol 39 to 60%. lipitor is backed by over 17 years of research. lipitor is not for everyone, including people with liver problems and women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant. you need simple blood tests to check for liver problems. tell your doctor if you are taking other medications or if you have any muscle pain or weakness. this may be a sign of a rare but serious side effect.
hey, rick, it's karen from washington, i'm responsibilitying to the replacen't for the queen. there is a replacement for oprah, but a pretty close second would be ellen. >> so many responses throughout the day on so many stories we have been following for you. i'm rick sanchez, we're in new york and you haven't heard yet that oprah winfrey is hanging it up after 25 years of her daily talk show. nothing about what's on her plate moving forward after the chosing date after she will no longer be doing her show. here is my favorite, cnn's tom foreman. >>. >> reporter: the show became an institution. >> i'm oprah winfrey and welcome to the very first national oprah winfrey show. >> reporter: what began on local
tv in chicago grew into a media empire, a phenomenon of empow empowerment, entertainment and a whole lot more. it's impossible to list them all here, but we have chosen a few that have made a lasting impression. like this one, her 1993 interview with michael jackson at his never land ranch. she said it was like meeting the wizard of oz. >> this is the most exciting interview i had ever done and certainly was going to be the most watched interview i had ever done. >> reporter: oprah's encounter with elizabeth taylor did not fare as well. right before it began, oprah said the legendary actress asked her not to bring up any of her relationships. stars flocked to oprah to talk, to plug their movies and in tom cruise's case, to get weird. >> i have never seen you like this. >> that's the couch jumping
incident from 2005. cruise went overbarred expressing his love then girlfriend hatie holmes. it's a clip that's been seen countless times. and this one t start of season 19, when to the surprise of everyone, oprah handed out presents to her audience members, each one of them the keys to their very own new car. as we have seen she can be incredibly generous and profoundly moving, breaking down on camera. hope are is a self-made success story. forbes ranks her among the wealthiest people on the planet and says she is worth $2.5 billion, she's also created two girls schools in south africa and dozens of other schools with her angels network have been built around the world.
she has also shared personal battles, especially with her weight. in 1988, she wheeled out 67 pounds of fat. that's how much weight she lost back then. many women followed her lead and went on diets. since then she's continued struggling and it's always center stage. there are a lot of firsts for oprah. 1996, "deep end of the ocean" was chosen as her first book club choice. her book club has helped sell millions of books. and she confronted author james frye after recommending his book "a million little pieces" a memoir filled with fiction. from the big heart to the big difference she has made in so many people's lives and now oprah is saying goodbye. in an interview with 60 minutes back when it all started, oprah said, what matters isn't
longevity. >> it will do well. >> and if it doesn't? >> if it doesn't, i will still do well. i will do well because i am not defined by a show. i think we are defined by the way we treat ourselves and the way we treat other people. >> tom foreman, cnn, washington. students in colombia, the nation protesting against the united states military intervention in their country. interesting story get ready for this. dance, because when we come back as well, it will be time for musica, musica musica. it can help cover some pd what medicare doesn't... so you could save up to thousands of dollars... in out-of-pocket expenses. call now for this free information kit...
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welcome back. here's a multiple choice question for you, a boy is stuck in a chimney, what do you use to get him out? a, a harness, b, a popular cooking project, orp c do you use a sledgehammers. you want to find out? let's do fotos. to miss miss we go where a frantic family is trying desperately to locate a boy's screams for help. they eventually find him stuck in of all places a chimney. rescue crews try to pull him out using a harness, to no avail, then they poor cooking oil down the chimney hoping to slip him out, that doesn't work either, what's next? you guessed it, bring on the sledgehammer. he said he went after his
backpack that was thrown down the chimney by his brother. >> you could have gave me a break. . >> what some people will do to get out of a speeding ticket. this woman was pulled over and the officer says that she tried to bribe him with whoopie. you know whoopie? remember the newlywed game? the officer said no thanks and gave her a $191 ticket. this is really quite serious. these are pictures coming in from colombia. it's a fierce standoff between students and riot police. students are hurling home made
explosives, firecrackers and molotov cocktails, cops respond with tear gas and water why the violent clashes? the students are upset that the government is allowing the united states to use seven colombian military bases, our military in colombia. the u.s. says it's only there to help stop drug trafficking and rebels. we'll follow it. what is going on with the health guidance for women all of a sudden? earlier this week there was confusion over mammograms and who should have them and why and when. today it's pap smears. this is confusing. cnn's senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen will help us try to put this in perspective and maybe just cut through the clutter. we'll be right back. now, the president and congress are moving forward... with reform that includes the best ideas.
if our kids exercise the same way they did 17 years ago, then why are they still gaining weight? it's a good question for all of us as parents. cnn's chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta has the answer. >> reporter: in many ways there's logical conclusions to be drawn here and this is a case of good news and bad news. first of all, the good news is contrary to popular belief teens and adolescents are actually not more sedentary than they were in years past. in fact, they might be getting
slightly more physical activity and watching television slightly less. may be spending more time on the computer and video games but overall physical activity is slightly higher but the bad news is as we know the obesity epidemic continues to grow. in fact about a third of kids in this country are either overweight or obese. so what gives here? you might guess, it really has much more to do with diet. diet may play a much bigger role when it comes to the obesity epidemic than activity than previously thought. and a lot might have to do specifically with portion sizes. take a look here, when you talk about portion sizes for spaghetti, back in 1990, 500 calori calories, one cup of pasta, and three meatballs, 2010, 20 years later it's more than doubled in terms of calories, two cups of pasta and lots of meatballs and more calories as well. something else commonly eaten. cheeseburgers, back in 1990, 333 calories and we've seen these cheeseburgers 20 years later double the number of calories. the problem becoming a little more apparent. breakfast food as well is not immune to all of this.
back in 1990, three inches in size and 140 calories and they are six inches in size now, double, and, again, more than twice as many calories. here is the problem. when you look at the obesity epidemic overall and you're trying to confirm is this more activity-related or diet-related, diet seems to be playing a bigger role. now it doesn't mean that the teenagers and adolescents are getting enough activity. in fact, only about a third of teenagers and adolescents get the recommended amount of activity as things stand now. that's based on self-reporting. that's where people actually report how much activity they are getting. it may overestimate overall. we know that activity has a lot of benefits. it can reduce obviously some of the weight issues that we have but also decrease the risk of developing early heart disease and early diabetes as well. message to parents and kids out there though, even if your child is getting enough activity really watch those portion sizes and watch those calories in and calories out. dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, reporting. >> for medical correspondent to medical correspondent, a busy week in the women's health care
universe. first the new breast cancer prevention guidelines that had doctors all fired up and created a bit of a stir. also, survivor groups were fired up about that. now today all new advice about another important women's health concern, and for some reason emotion aren't running quite as hot. first of all, i have no idea what really this is about, and so i'm going to bring in elizabeth cohen to explain it for us. break it down, if you can. i remember the guidelines earlier this week that created huge controversies, what about these, new guidelines for cervical cancer screenings, right? >> reporter: new guidelines about when to get a pap smear, and i'm sure, rick, you don't know this. guys don't keep track of this stuff but we women know you're supposed to go every year to get a pap smear in most cases. now, what the change is that you don't need to get them quite as frequently as you did before. you're supposed to start at age 21 and go every two years between the ages of 21 and 29, and then go every three years
after age 30, so you don't have to get pap smears quite as much as you used to. >> now these changes going to prompt the same kind of controversy? i mean, i earlier this week you hear sanjay gupta going after one of these persons on this task force who was saying we should get fewer mammograms. there's a change here as well. is this going to cause the kind of controversy we saw there? >> reporter: you know what, i don't think it will cause the same kind of controversy because with the mammograms they were telling a whole set of women, women in their 40s, that they didn't necessarily need routine mammograms. they are still saying to get pap smears, just perhaps not quite as often, and i should add women with a certain kind of family history or whatever should get them even more than what they are saying here, but to answer your question, the american cancer society agrees with these new recommendations. these recommendations, i should add, are from the american college of obstetricians and gynecologists. remember, the woman who sanjay interviewed was from a task
force that was a government task force. >> a nurse. >> these people were not gynecologists so it's different when the recommendations come from giynecologists and the american cancer society agree. >> do women still need to go in for annual ab gosh gyn checkups? >> reporter: they do and there's concern when you tell women they don't need annual pap smears they might think i don't need to go to the gynecologist. they still need the annual checkups because there are things that need to be done every year. >> why isn't there -- why are we suddenly hearing about these guidelines? in the past i don't remember these kinds of studies being reported as much or having as much of an impact. what's going on here? something changing? >> reporter: no. i think what's going on is groups like american college of obstetricians and gynecologists or this government task force, they regularly update guidelines, but in the past you haven't seen as big of a difference as you've seen, so when they update guidelines, but they are not all that different we don't really report them.
when they update guidelines, and there's a big difference, then we report them and it's really just a coincidence that these two guidelines, one for pap smears and one for mammograms happened in the same week. it's been a busy week for us ladies. >> so you expect that this thing is really going to be heated, much more so than the mammogram study? >> reporter: it's going to be less heated and another reason is breast cancers usually grow faster so you -- so some doctors will say you've got to have that annual mammogram to catch it. cervical cancers can grow very, very slowly so if you don't have a pap smear every year doctors tell us it's not quite as serious. >> elizabeth, thanks so much for bringing us up to date on this, and you're right, it is the kind of thing that most of us guys don't know all that much about. >> reporter: that's what i thought. >> kind of like watching oprah, know what i mean? >> reporter: well, she won't be on i hear, rick. >> yeah, for guys or women. by the way, as we go out, let me share something with you. just a little while ago i think you caught me yawning on tv, and